Ohio State football notebook | Season ticket holders make their decision
Ohio State season ticket holders faced financial decisions after the Big Ten canceled the fall football season this month.
They involved the fate of their ticket payments, made before the league’s decision to call off games for 2020.
Ohio State offered three options: convert a deposit into a donation toward the athletic department’s scholarship fund, credit it for 2021 season tickets, or get a full refund. Fans who turned ticket payments into donations or future payments were also given extra priority points for future seat selection processes.
In response to a records request from The Dispatch, the school provided a breakdown of the allocation of ticket payments.
Among the 16,665 non-student season ticket account holders, 725 (4%) turned payments into a donation, 8,342 (50%) put the money toward next season’s tickets, and 7,598 (46%) asked for a refund.
For the 10,574 account holders who joined the Buckeye Club or the President’s Club, 1,506 (14%) transferred the ticket payments into contributions for the department, 5,859 (56%) used them for eligibility for future season ticket eligibility, and 3,209 (30%) requested a refund.
Faculty and staff who buy season tickets are not required to join one of the support groups.
During the spring, even while the 2020 season remained in doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic, 87% of season ticket holders renewed their purchases. The base of ticket holders spans more than 44,000 seats at Ohio Stadium, which fits 104,944 fans.
A school spokesman said the total revenue figure from donations converted from ticket and qualifying payments was not yet available.
Additional charitable contributions offer some financial relief for Ohio State’s athletic department, as does the money that is kept for the 2021 season.
Without a football season in the months ahead, the department would be confronting significant financial challenges.
At an OSU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, the school said it faces a loss of $130.3 million in athletics revenue following the cancellation of the fall sports season, including money-making football.
A majority of the revenue from football stems from ticket sales, parking and concession sales, and the payouts from the Big Ten’s multimillion-dollar TV contracts with ESPN and Fox.
OSU has not announced specific cost-saving measures for the athletic department, though it said $252 million in budget cuts will be made across the university during the 2021 fiscal year.
Commitment puts OSU back at No. 1
Ohio State has retaken the top spot over Alabama in the recruiting rankings for the class of 2021.
The Buckeyes were bolstered by a commitment late Thursday afternoon from Tyleik Williams, a four-star defensive tackle from northern Virginia.
Williams announced his commitment in a two-minute video released on social media, becoming the 19th player in the class.
The Buckeyes added to arguably their strongest position group for the 2021 class, a collection of commits that features Pickerington North defensive end Jack Sawyer, one of the top overall recruits in the country.
Williams is the biggest of the bunch, listed at 6 feet 3, 330 pounds by 247 Sports.